Coming to Grips with My Weight
As a self-proclaimed “big girl,” I found a piece of writing that all but liberated me from the confines of my weight. The article contained 10 suggestions to reduce peoples’ concerns about their weight. I felt as if a light was beaming down on me while I read it, with a gentle voice crooning in my ear, “See? It’s all okay. Some people were born to be overweight, just as some were born to be thin… you are as you’re supposed to be.”
No More Miracle Cures
The first suggestion on the list was to stop spending money on things and people that promise to help you lose weight. This was so refreshing that I actually smiled and nodded my head as I read because this information really opened my eyes to something.
Being overweight is, in a sense, license for others to take away your freedom. Because of my narrow reference point, I have to use Curves in the example I’m about to give you. That facility is based on creating rules for people that tell them how often to exercise; what type of exercise in which to engage; what to eat; how much to eat; and when to eat. Every week, you’re expected to report how well you followed these recommendations. This is where the loss of some freedom comes into play; if you’re over weight, you obviously must not be capable of making your own decisions and therefore need to be told what to do.
The problem is that I don’t want to be told what to do, and I absolutely don’t want to be told what to eat and when. I have many days when standing in the kitchen and preparing a casserole of lettuce, beans, six or seven different spices, lemon juice, ground turkey, and whatever other ingredients I’m supposed to include is not possible. I’m usually up past midnight trying to meet deadlines as it is. Therefore, I need to simplify my life, not complicate it with time-consuming recipes.
I Don't Need Fixing
I also don’t like the implication that something is wrong with me and needs to be fixed. Curves, and probably every other fitness facility on the planet, operates on the basis that most people can and should be at least a little bit thinner. But what if I’m healthy just the way I am, which, by the way, is possible even for those of us who are chubby.
In 2012, researchers at UC Davis conducted research to investigate the correlation between body weight and mortality rates. The results were pretty surprising: They found that the two groups (overweight and average weight) had similar rates, and, in some cases, overweight individuals even had lower death rates. People considered severely obese were found to have a higher risk, but only in those individuals suffering with diabetes or hypertension.
What, then, is the problem that people have with big girls (and guys)? Is it our rebellion, our refusal to give in to society’s notions of beauty? Or are we just among the long list of people and things who are senselessly and unfairly ridiculed? The answer is probably a combination of these, but perhaps that’s not even what is important at this point. Maybe we just need someone every once in a while to tell us we’re okay the way we are.